By Chuck WidenerOctober 8, 2009
Limited supply of injectable vaccine now available at clinics
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- DeWitt Army Community Hospital health care workers received a second shipment of the seasonal flu vaccine Friday.
Included in the shipment was a limited supply of the injectable form of the vaccine, which was split between other health care facilities in the DeWitt Health Care Network such as Fairfax, Fort A.P. Hill, Woodbridge and Rader clinics.
Health care workers are again administering the injectable form of the seasonal flu vaccine at pre-scheduled vaccination clinics. Injectables are for people at high risk, for example, those over 49 or have diabetes, asthma, heart disease, cancer, etc., who are not eligible for the FluMist.
The FluMist is for people ages 2 to 49 with no chronic health problems.
Only beneficiaries of the hospital - active-duty members, retirees and family members - can get either the FluMist or injectable vaccines.
Health officials across the country and the Capital Medical Region are stressing to people to get vaccinated this flu season to limit health complications that could be caused by a co-infection of seasonal flu and H1N1 virus.
To help vaccinate as many people as possible, DeWitt health care workers are also supporting a joint vaccination team sponsored by Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical. The joint shot team is helping military clinics and hospitals in the region administer seasonal flu vaccinations to military activities that do not have easy access to medical treatment facilities. When H1N1 vaccinations begin, the team will help administer that vaccine, as well.
The joint team recently administered seasonal flu vaccines to the Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Belvoir.
"Having an integrated medical plan and services between the Navy, Army and Air Force medical facilities provides better care to our beneficiaries - exactly why JTF CAPMED was formed," said Maj. Philip Knight-Sheen of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical.
DeWitt personnel are also working with the DoD and Virginia Department of Health to receive the H1N1 vaccine and begin H1N1 immunizations this month. Though health care workers and the VDH anticipates having enough vaccine to immunize everyone, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends H1N1 vaccination for pregnant women, children, health care workers and emergency medical service providers.
DeWitt health care workers will administer the vaccine according CDC guidance, which is available on the Web at cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.
DeWitt and the Army are committed to the health and welfare of its personnel, families and retirees, said Lt. Col. Leonardo Martinez, chief of Preventive Medicine at DeWitt. "We will continue taking action to educate and immunize our community throughout this flu season."
DeWitt offers flu vaccines at the Fort Belvoir Community Center at the following times:
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday until Wednesday.
Beginning Oct. 15, vaccination clinics are available at Specker Field House from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and each Saturday until Oct. 29.
The injectable and FluMist forms of the vaccine are available. Updates on flu clinics and the availability of the vaccines are available from the hospital's flu hotline, 703-805-0506. People can also visit dewitt.narmc.amedd.army. mil to view the list of vaccination dates, times, location and vaccine availability.